Hotspots brings you the Mintel Trends team’s top observations on product and service launches from around the world. From a platform that allows you to create digital and physical sneakers to a curated playlist determined by user’s mood, find out the most innovative global initiatives happening this month.
Flexible Shopping – Mexico
Clikstore is a Mexican company that aims to offer a new generation of commerce, providing accessible and attractive financial services. It targets Millennials and Gen Zs, offering them a digital card that allows them to manage their retail credit through an app. Customers can choose their own credit periods, whether weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. Clikstore’s proposal also includes an e-commerce site through which users can access an extended catalog of products that cannot be found in its physical stores. Alongside its home delivery service, the company has a locker service that provides consumers with flexible collection options.
The pandemic forced retailers to quickly digitize their services and as we return to a new version of normal, consumers remain focused on methods of shopping that offer them value and convenience. Though they have discovered the convenience offered by e-commerce, they still enjoy the benefits of shopping in-store. Brands are developing new digital experiences to meet changing demands, and designing compelling hybrid experiences that prioritize convenience. In the face of economic uncertainty, many forward-thinking brands are also providing financial solutions to allow consumers to make the most of their budgets, offering affordable purchase options and credit to unbanked customers.
In order to adapt to the changing needs of consumers, we will see brands merging e-commerce and traditional retail in a bid to offer value, convenience, and innovation. New brick-and-mortar shopping experiences will allow consumers to try on and personalize products that can later be conveniently delivered to their homes. This approach will help brands minimize the number of services their brick-and-mortar locations need while providing consumers with more engaging and enjoyable shopping experiences.
Kimberly Hernandez – Associate Analyst, Mintel Trends, North America
Step Into the Future of Sneakers – US
Madeium and Intertrust have partnered to create a Web3-powered creator platform where users can design both physical and digital products. The platform allows athletes, designers, influencers and sneaker enthusiasts to create and sell their own 3D-printed sneakers on demand. These sneakers are shipped with embedded NFC chips that use digital twin technology to protect and monetize both digital and physical designs. With these chips, each pair of shoes can be authenticated with a smartphone swipe and creators can retain royalties on both new sales and secondary sales of their designs.
Web3 is a revolutionary way for consumers to interact via decentralized networks and applications, which is becoming an increasingly popular topic among tech-savvy consumers. By introducing a more democratic and transparent approach to commerce and creativity, Web3 has the potential to revolutionize various industries, from retail to digital banking. It gives users greater control over their data and assets, thus lowering the barrier of entry for independent businesses and creators by providing them with the necessary resources to build their own personal brands. With this, Web3 platforms and user-friendly tools can inspire consumers and lead to a new wave of creativity as users will be able to express themselves and create in ways that were previously not possible.
In the coming years, brands will use some form of Web3 technology to engage with consumers and build meaningful relationships with them as co-creators. This approach can be used to make consumers feel like shareholders through their purchase of exclusive NFTs or as a perk of a rewards program. Brands can use this approach to welcome feedback on upcoming products, allowing consumers to vote on decisions such as pricing tiers, product selections or even marketing strategies. Even if brands don’t implement these recommendations, they can offer consumers certifications or digital badges to recognize their problem-solving and business skills.
Kimberly Hernandez – Associate Analyst, Mintel Trends, North America
Health Delivered to You – Australia
The first phase of Lite n’ Easy’s new digital experience makes it easier for prospective customers to browse and find the right meal solution for their individual needs through a more streamlined and visually engaging experience. Customers can explore over 230 menu options and compare different packs, offers, and prices that best match their goals. Visitors also have the option of being guided through a short diagnostic tool that generates a personalised meal pack with clearly articulated inclusions and key benefits based on their motivations. All meals are designed by dietitians to provide consumers with healthy, easily made options.
There has been a shift in sentiment from ‘weight loss’ to ‘life gain’, which means that brands should focus more on activating customers’ appetites and setting them up for future success, rather than focusing on remediating the results of previous poor habits alone. Brands will do well to combine a user-centric experience with both behavioural and nutritional science.
There are many stressors in the lives of consumers; brands focused on providing them with healthy food and drink options need to prioritise making the process of picking a healthy option convenient and easy. Consumers are constantly bombarded with information on their health, and that messaging shifts, being healthy goes beyond conventional dieting and focuses on holistic, self-care approaches (eg, gut-weight link, body neutrality) to help consumers lose weight healthily and sustainably.
Joey Khong – Associate Analyst, Mintel Trends, North America
Personalised Playlists – Sweden: All regions
Spotify has introduced a new feature called Niche Mixes that allows users to easily create personalised playlists. Users need to enter into the Spotify search bar a combination of moods, activities, or genres followed by the word ‘mix’, and Spotify’s algorithms will generate an appropriate playlist based on a mix of familiar tracks and ones the user is likely to enjoy. Each Niche Mix updates daily to offer novelty. Niche Mixes are available to Free and Premium users, as long as they search in English.
Spotify users have been able to create their own playlists by adding individual songs one by one. Although accurate, this method is time-consuming and makes it hard to put together new mixes on the spot. For that reason, Spotify offers many curated playlists – some created by the streaming company, some shared by other users – but they tend to have a single focus such as 80s Hits or Workout Hits. The new Niche Mixes feature enables users to combine multiple prompts to create a mix that matches their immediate needs.
Consumers expect products and services that meet their individual needs. Customisation and personalisation respond to this demand by giving consumers more control over how products look or function. Opportunities exist for e-commerce retailers to incorporate similar micro-targeted, user-led filtering functions into their sites to help consumers pick outfits by mood. Indeed, this could allow firms to return to consumers the value of the extensive consumer data that they capture.
Sarah Al Shaalan – Senior Analyst, Mintel Trends, Europe